You call yourself a "herdsman" which means you must milk the cows..right?
OK...so of alll of the questions I get asked once someone learns that I dairy farm, this is ALWAYS the first.
"Do you milk the cows?"
To which I respond with a number of things:
-Why would we milk them?
-ALL of them?
But the most popular is...No, I don't.
And it's true. I don't.
I have 3 people who do milk them, but me? I just sit in my Italian leather, hand sewn seat in the temperature controlled office and watch them milk my cows via the cameras.
...And if you believe that, I don't know if our friendship can continue.
The funny thing is that when people ask me that question, all they give me time to say in response is "no, I ha-", before they lose interest.
This happens ALL the time.
It's like they think that if I am not the one milking the cows, then I am not actually a dairy farmer.
If I milked the cows then I probably wouldn't have this blog.
Why? I would have nothing to write about.
You need a certain level of pent-up aggression/frustration in order to have something to write about...inmyopinion.
If I just had to come to work and milk 200 cows...nothing else..then my life would be pretty darn peachy.
No breeding, no treating, no pulling calves, no keeping up with cow records, no stressing over the ration they are eating, no watching heats, no feeding calves, no love/hate relationship with truck drivers, and no fear of being electrocuted by my flush pump.
That being said, if my workers walked out on me today, I would verymuch be milking the cows
Happiness would go to the grocery store to get boxes and rent a U-Haul.
Now, if I needed to relief-milk, I would!
No problem. I did in college.
Not to mention I milk my "sick" herd every morning.
But milking twice a day every day, would give me very little time to do anythingelse.
While we are talking about milking, I wanted to take this opportunity to give you a tour of my parlor.... "Where the action happens".
It's nice. There are some parlors that aren't, and I take pride in mine.
Okie-dokie, here we go...
Welcome to my parlor!
I snuck down there between groups, so it is currently in use.
Here we(meaning NOT me, obviously) can milk 24 cows at a time, 12 on each side.
Yes, there are much bigger parlors, some that even rotate on a carousel that milk 72 cows at once...wow!
However, mine is sufficient for my herd.
It is also very clean.
The cows are milked parallel to each other, meaning you hang the milker between their back legs, not to the side....that may be too technical.
Here's one miking unit.
The "claw" is on the left.
It has no nails, totally safe.
The claw is hung on the teats, the milk then flows through the line, through the 'black thing with the round object', then through the 'blue and white thing', where it is weighed...
That's the control board.
There is one for each unit.
The "25" is the milking code, as opposed to the wash cycle code"
The "7.7" is how long the claw hung on the cow, or how long it took her to milk.
The "58.8" is how much milk, in pounds, she gave.
The whole set up is automated.
All the milker has to do is push the silver button on the bottom right, and that starts the vacuum flow through the claw.
They then attach the claw to the udder, and the milk starts flowing.
Once the pressure sensors in the claw recognize reduced milk flow, the vacuum shuts off, and the claw detaches by itself.
From the unit, the milk flows into the receiver jar..
There are two, one for each side.
The milk flows into the 'big silver canister', then is forced through the 'tall silver skinny thing'.
The 'tall skinny thing' has a VERY fine filter in it, which the milk is pushed through before going into the tank.
This catches anything, other than milk, that might have gotten into the claw.
This mamma-jamma holds intheneighborhoodof 25,000 pounds.
It's a big dude.
We have 2(because we used to milk 500), but are currently only using one.
This tank, stirs the milk at regular intervals, and keeps it at 38 degrees.
I am currently shipping just under 23,000 pounds every other day.
23,000 alludes me.
This bad boy is my report card.
He makes or breaks me every.other.day.
So...do I milk the cows?
No, I don't.
I just make sure there are still cows to be milked:).
Thanks for taking the tour!